What an amazing year it has been.
Ant and I surprised all our friends and family when after 24 years together we annouced our engagement in February.
Then followed a perfect July wedding surrounded by many of our friends and family, the sun shone and we had just the amazing day ever, my lovely Mum and Dad were so proud, very happy memories of the most wonderful day.
Amongst all this we were selling our old house and also overseeing a 12 month project renovationing a farmhouse, a mamouth task, luckily we found an incredible team of builders headed by Colin Thomas of http://www.enchantedwood.co
We are feeling very proud of our project. Rescuing old beams & watching them return to their former glory was an amazing and fulfilling task. Ant & I dug up piles of 200 year old handmade bricks that were buried in the garden to use on the extension, so it matched the house. It has been worth it, it looks incredible and we have had so many lovely comments from local residents about how the work on our house has improved and enhanced the area. Photos of our house are even being used by a local council as an example of renovations being in keeping with the original historic building.
Having sold so many horses to pay for the work on the farmhouse the horse competitions have been very quiet. Massimo won his 4 year old qualifier and went on to do well at the Champs in October. I have a number of youngsters for the future quietly coming along nicely. Sprout in particularly looks very promising and of course everyone loves Blizzard. Ant kept the cups and rosettes flowing in with success showing his chickens, including winning supreme Champion at The Royal Three Counties, a career highlight for him without a doubt.
A highlight of my year (and my career) was my pupil Saffron Cresswell winning a Gold Medal for GB in Sweden at the European Eventing Champs. A very proud day. Not many coaches can say they have trained a rider who has won gold riding for their country. Huge credit to Saffron and her Mum who both put in an unbelievable amount of work. When most kids are watching TV after school Saffron is riding her 3 horses, rain or shine every day, all year round, before sitting down to eat her tea and do her home work.
In the spring it was a huge relief that my 5 month old collie puppy Hugo recovered fully from his freak accident when getting out of a car he caught his leg under the seat and severed his Achilles’ tendon on the seat adjustment mechanism. They stitched it back together at the vets worryingly telling me it was a rare injury with poor prognosis, it seemed a long slow recovery, but watching him bounce round and wipe his muddy paws over everyone when he gives his lovely Hugo hugs, it was all so worth it. Photo kindly by Sally Newcomb.
Lastly there was that amazing day when I bought Eventing Magazine to find I was on the front cover of the annual guide to the season. Wow!